A man claiming to be a member of the Saudi royal family is being quizzed by police on suspicion of murder after one of his servants was found strangled at a top London hotel.
Officers were called to the five-star Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, Central London, after a 32-year-old Saudi Arabian man was found dead in a suite by a maid.
The victim, believed to be part of the royal's entourage, suffered severe head injuries in the attack.
Last night detectives were questioning a 33-year-old man who told them he was a prince of the Saudi royal family.
He was arrested several hours after the discovery of the body at an address in Westminster.
One insider said the man had been staying at the Landmark for the past month.
He is believed to have been in London as a tourist and flew around the world accompanied by his aide.
The suspect told police he was a cousin of King Abdullah.
Sources said that it appeared he was a middle-ranking member of the royal house of Saud.
The man is not covered by diplomatic immunity, police sources said, following his arrest on Monday evening.
Paramedics had earlier been called to a third-floor room of the hotel where they found the man dead.
A post mortem examination found the victim died as a result of 'manual compression of the neck' and that he also suffered head injuries.
Yard sources confirmed that the case is being treated as a murder inquiry.
Last night a section of the hotel's third floor was screened off from view of guests as the scene was photographed by forensics officers.
The death has shocked staff and guests at the prestigious hotel, which is popular with celebrities.
Rooms at the Grade II-listed Landmark Hotel, which was built in 1899, cost from £400 a night, while the presidential suite commands up to £2,400.
Former Oasis singer Liam Gallagher and his wife Nicole Appleton held their wedding reception there in February 2008.
Among the hotel's most popular attractions are its beauty salon, pool and whirlpool bath where Justin Timberlake, TV presenter Myleene Klass and Formula One former world champion Lewis Hamilton have all been pampered.
In 2007, Michelle Obama held a fundraising-event at the hotel to boost her husband's chances of getting into the White House, charging guests up to £1,150.
Yesterday the hotel's general manager Francis Green issued a statement offering his condolences over the death.
'Unfortunately, the Landmark Hotel can confirm the death of a guest on Monday who was staying at the hotel,' he said.
'Police were informed immediately and have launched an investigation surrounding this incident and we are co-operating fully with them and are therefore unable to comment further.
'This is an isolated incident and our thoughts are with the relatives of the deceased.'
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the death was being probed by detectives from the force's homicide and serious crime command.
Today detectives were granted an extra 36 hours to continue questioning the man.
They are focusing on the hotel’s extensive CCTV system which is believed to have captured the comings and goings of guests on Monday afternoon.
The Saudi embassy refused to comment today but a senior diplomat is believed to have visited the arrested man in his cell.
From the Daily Mail (UK):